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|Centuries:||19th century – 20th century – 21st century|
|Decades:||1920s 1930s 1940s – 1950s – 1960s 1970s 1980s|
|Years:||1948 1949 1950 – 1951 – 1952 1953 1954|
|1951 by topic:|
|Birth and death categories|
|Establishments and disestablishments categories|
|Works and introductions categories|
|Ab urbe condita||2704|
|British Regnal year||15 Geo. 6 – 16 Geo. 6|
|Chinese calendar|| 庚寅年十一月廿四日
— to —辛卯年十二月初四日
|- Vikram Samvat||2007–2008|
|- Shaka Samvat||1873–1874|
|- Kali Yuga||5052–5053|
|- Ǹrí Ìgbò||951–952|
|Japanese calendar|| Shōwa 26
|Julian calendar||Gregorian minus 13 days|
|Minguo calendar||ROC 40
|Thai solar calendar||2494|
Year 1951 (MCMLI) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar.
- January 1 – First week as No. 1 single on Billboard and Cashbox charts of Patti Page hit song " Tennessee Waltz".
- January 9 – The Government of the United Kingdom announces abandonment of the Tanganyika groundnut scheme for the cultivation of peanuts in the Tanganyika Territory with the writing off of £36.5M debt.
- January 15 – In a court in West Germany, Ilse Koch, The "Witch of Buchenwald", wife of the commandant of the Buchenwald concentration camp, is sentenced to life imprisonment.
- January 18 – Korean War: Third Battle of Seoul: Chinese and North Korean forces capture Seoul for the second time.
- January 20 – Avalanches in the Alps kill 240 and bury 45,000 for a time in Switzerland, Austria and Italy.
- January 25 – Dutch author Anne de Vries releases the first volume of her novel Journey Through the Night (Reis door de nacht) set during World War II.
- January 27 – Nuclear testing at the Nevada Test Site begins with a 1- kiloton bomb dropped on Frenchman Flat, northwest of Las Vegas, Nevada.
- February – Convention People's Party wins national elections in Gold Coast (British colony).
- February 1 – The United Nations General Assembly declares that China is an aggressor in the Korean War in United Nations General Assembly Resolution 498.
- February 4– February 8 – Surgeons remove an ovarian cyst from Gertrude Levandowski in a 96-hour long operation in Chicago. She loses almost half of her weight and emerges weighing 140 kg.
- February 6 – A Pennsylvania Railroad passenger train derails near Woodbridge Township, New Jersey, killing 85 people and injuring over 500, in one of the worst rail disasters in American history.
- February 12 – Muhammad Reza Shah marries Soraya Esfandiary Bakhtiari.
- February 15 – Start of the 1951 New Zealand waterfront dispute, which lasts for 151 days.
- February 19 – Jean Lee becomes the last woman hanged in Australia, when Lee and her 2 pimps are hanged for the murder and torture of a 73-year-old bookmaker.
- February 27 – The Twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution, limiting Presidents to two terms, is ratified.
- March 2 – The first NBA All-Star game was played in the Boston Garden.
- March 6 – The trial of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg begins.
- March 9 – United Artists releases sci-fi film The Man from Planet X.
- March 12 – Hank Ketcham's best-selling comic strip Dennis the Menace, appeared in newspapers across the U.S. for the first time.
- March 14
- Korean War: For the second time, United Nations troops recapture Seoul during Operation Ripper.
- West Germany joins UNESCO.
- March 29
- Second Red Scare: Ethel and Julius Rosenberg are convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage. On April 5 they are sentenced to receive the death penalty.
- Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I opens on Broadway and runs for 3 years. It's the first Rodgers & Hammerstein musical specifically written for an actress ( Gertrude Lawrence). Lawrence is stricken with cancer during the run of the show and dies halfway through its run a year later. The show makes a star of Yul Brynner.
- The 23rd Academy Awards ceremony is held; All About Eve wins Best Picture and 4 others.
- March 31 – Remington Rand delivers the first UNIVAC I computer to the United States Census Bureau.
- April 1 – Female suffrage begins in Greece.
- April 11
- April 18 – The Treaty of Paris (1951) is adopted, establishing the European Coal and Steel Community.
- April 21 – The National Olympic Committee of the Soviet Union is formed. The USSR first participates in the Olympic Games at Helsinki, Finland, in 1952.
- April 24 – In Yokohama, Japan a fire on a train kills more than 100.
- April 28 – Robert Menzies' Liberal Party government in Australia is re-elected for a second term.
- April 29 – RKO releases the Howard Hawks sci-fi film, " The Thing (From Another World)".
- May 1 – The Opera house of Geneva, Switzerland is almost destroyed in a fire.
- May 3
- May 9 – Operation Greenhouse: The first thermonuclear weapon is tested on Enewetok Atoll in the Marshall Islands, by the United States.
- May 14 – The first volunteer-run passenger trains run on Talyllyn Railway, Wales.
- May 15 – A military coup occurs in Bolivia.
- May 21 – The Ninth Street Show, otherwise known as the 9th Street Art Exhibition, a gathering of a number of notable artists, marks the stepping-out of the post war New York avant-garde, collectively known as the New York School.
- May 23 – The Tibetan government signs the Seventeen Point Agreement for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet with the People's Republic of China.
- May 25 – The first atomic bomb "boosted" by the inclusion of thermonuclear materials, is tested in the "Item" test on Enewetok Atoll in the Marshall Islands by the U.S.
- June 14 – UNIVAC I is dedicated by the U.S. Census Bureau.
- June 15 – July 1- In New Mexico, Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia, thousands of acres of forests are destroyed in fires.
- July 1
- July 5 – William Shockley, John Bardeen, and Walter Brattain announce the invention of the junction transistor.
- July 10 – Korean War: Armistice negotiations begin at Kaesong.
- July 13
- The Great Flood of 1951 reaches its highest point in Northeast Kansas, culminating in the greatest flood damage to date in the Midwestern United States.
- MGM's Technicolor film version of Show Boat, starring Kathryn Grayson, Ava Gardner, and Howard Keel, premieres at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The musical brings overnight fame to bass-baritone William Warfield (who sings Ol' Man River in the film).
- July 14 – In Joplin, Missouri, the George Washington Carver National Monument becomes the first United States National Monument to honour an African American.
- July 16 – King Léopold III of Belgium abdicates in favour of his son Baudouin.
- July 17 – King Baudouin takes the oath as king of Belgium.
- July 20 – King Abdullah I of Jordan is assassinated by a Palestinian while attending Friday prayers in Jerusalem.
- July 26 – Walt Disney's 13th animated film, Alice in Wonderland, premieres in London, United Kingdom.
- July 30 – David Lean's Oliver Twist is finally shown in the United States, after 10 minutes of supposedly anti-Semitic references and closeups of Alec Guinness as Fagin are cut. It will not be shown uncut in the U.S. until 1970.
- August – Paramount Pictures releases George Pal science fiction film When Worlds Collide.
- August 11 – René Pleven becomes Prime Minister of France.
- August 12 – The Catcher in the Rye is first published by J.D. Salinger.
- September 1 – The United States, Australia and New Zealand all sign a mutual defense pact, called the ANZUS Treaty.
- September 3 – The American soap opera Search for Tomorrow debuts on CBS. After over 30 years, the show switches to NBC on March 26, 1982. Search for Tomorrow airs its final episode on December 26, 1986.
- September 8
- September 9 – Chinese communist forces move into Lhasa, the capital of Tibet.
- September 10 – The United Kingdom begins an economic boycott of Iran.
- September 18 – Tennessee Williams's adaptation of A Streetcar Named Desire premieres, becoming a critical and box-office smash.
- September 20 – NATO accepts Greece and Turkey as members.
- September 24 – MGM releases " Show Boat" musical movie.
- September 26– September 28 – A blue sun is seen over Europe: the effect is due to ash coming from the Canadian forest fires 4 months previously.
- September 28 – 20th Century Fox releases the Robert Wise science fiction film, " The Day the Earth Stood Still".
- October 3 – "Shot Heard 'Round the World": One of the greatest moments in Major League Baseball history occurs when the New York Giants' Bobby Thomson hits a game winning home run in the bottom of the 9th inning off of Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca, to win the National League pennant after being down 14 games.
- October 4
- MGM's Technicolor musical film, An American in Paris, starring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron, premieres in New York. It was directed by Vincente Minnelli. It would go on to win 6 Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
- Shoppers World (one the first shopping malls in the U.S.) opens in Framingham, Massachusetts.
- October 6 – Malayan Emergency: Communist insurgents kill British commander Sir Henry Gurney.
- October 14 – Organization of Central American States (ODECA) (Organización de Estados Centroamericanos) formed.
- October 15
- Norethindrone, the progestin used in the oral contraceptive is synthesized by Luis E. Miramontes.
- I Love Lucy makes its television debut on CBS.
- October 16
- October 17 – CBS' Eye logo premieres on TV.
- October 20 – The Johnny Bright Incident occurs in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
- October 21 – A storm in southern Italy kills over 100.
- October 24 – U.S. President Harry Truman declares an official end to war with Germany.
- October 26 – Winston Churchill is re-elected Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in a general election which sees the defeat of Clement Attlee's Labour government after six years in power.
- October 27 – Farouk of Egypt declares himself king of Sudan, with no support.
- October 31 – Scrooge, starring Alastair Sim, opens in England.
- November 1 – The first military exercises for nuclear war, with infantry troops included, are held in the Nevada desert.
- November 10 – Direct dial coast-to-coast telephone service begins in the United States.
- November 11
- Juan Peron is re-elected president of Argentina.
- Monogram Pictures releases sci-fi film Flight to Mars.
- November 12 – The National Ballet of Canada performs for the first time in Eaton Auditorium.
- November 20 – The Po River floods in northern Italy.
- November 24 – The Broadway play Gigi opens, starring little known actress Audrey Hepburn as the lead character.
- November 28 – Scrooge, starring Alastair Sim, premieres in the United States under the title of Charles Dickens's original novel, A Christmas Carol.
- December 3 – The Lebanese University is founded in Lebanon.
- December 5 – Provisional Intergovernmental Committee for the Movement of Migrants from Europe.
- December 6 – A state of emergency is declared in Egypt due to increasing riots.
- December 13 – A water storage tank collapses in Tucumcari, New Mexico, resulting in 4 deaths, and 200 buildings destroyed.
- December 16 – Salar Jung Museum is opened to the public by Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru.
- December 17 – " We Charge Genocide", a petition describing genocide against African Americans, is delivered to the United Nations.
- December 20
- December 22 – The Selangor Labour Party is founded in Selangor, Malaya.
- December 23 – John Huston's drama film, The African Queen, starring Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn, premieres in Hollywood.
- December 24
- December 31 – The Marshall Plan expires after distributing more than $13.3 billion USD in foreign aid to rebuild Europe.
- A fourth, and final, forest fire starts in the Tillamook Burn; but unlike earlier fires this one only burns 32,700 acres (132 km2), and within an area already affected by the earlier fires.
- The most complete recording of Gershwin's opera Porgy and Bess made until then, a 3-LP Columbia Masterworks Records 129-minute album in mono, is released to great critical acclaim.
- A research team publishes the Interlingua-English Dictionary.
- IBM (United Kingdom) is formed.
- In Munich, Germany, a collection of mementos and personal papers belonging to Adolf Hitler are turned over to Bayerische Landesbank for authentication and eventual sale. Among the documents are his appointment as Chancellor signed by President Paul von Hindenburg, his Austrian passport, as well as an assortment of swastika insignia pins and medals. An initial offer of $200,000.00 is made for the collection.
- Stockholm, Sweden – An 18-year-old sailor is fined for kissing in public. The court calls his actions “obnoxious behaviour repulsive to the public morals.”
- January 1 – Ashfaq Hussain, Urdu poet
- January 2 – Valdir Peres, Brazilian footballer
- January 5 – Steve Arnold, English footballer
- January 6 – Kim Wilson, American singer and harmonica player
- January 8
- Kenny Anthony, Prime Minister of Saint Lucia
- John McTiernan, American director, producer, and writer
- January 12
- Kirstie Alley, American actress
- Rush Limbaugh, American conservative radio personality
- January 20 – Ian Hill, English rock bassist ( Judas Priest)
- January 25 – Steve Prefontaine, American runner (d. 1975)
- January 30 – Phil Collins, English rock musician and producer
- January 31
- Harry Wayne Casey, American musician, songwriter, and producer
- Phil Manzanera, British rock musician
- February 1 – Albert Salvadó, Andorran writer
- February 3
- Eugenijus Riabovas, Lithuanian football manager
- Felipe Munoz, Mexican swimmer
- Blaise Compaore, President of Burkina Faso
- February 13 – David Naughton, American actor
- February 14 – Kevin Keegan, English footballer and football manager
- February 15
- Melissa Manchester, American pop singer
- Jane Seymour, English actress
- February 16
- Mike Flanagan, baseball pitcher
- William Katt, American actor
- February 19 – Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, Pakistani Islamic Sufi scholar and leader
- February 20
- February 23 – Patricia Richardson, American actress
- February 24 – Debra Jo Rupp, American actress
- February 25 – Don Quarrie, Jamaican sprinter
- February 27 – Steve Harley, British rock musician
- March 1
- Sergei Kourdakov, former KGB agent
- Mike Read, British television presenter and radio disc jockey
- March 3 – Heizō Takenaka, Japanese economist
- March 4
- Edelgard Bulmahn, German politician
- Kenny Dalglish, Scottish footballer and football manager
- Mike Quarry, American light heavyweight boxer (d. 2006)
- Chris Rea, British singer and musician
- Linda Yamamoto, Japanese pop star
- March 6 – Gerrie Knetemann, Dutch cyclist (d. 2004)
- March 8 – Karen Kain, Canadian ballerina
- March 12 – Susan Musgrave Canadian poet and children's writer
- March 13
- Charo, Spanish-American singer and actress
- Fred Berry, American actor (d. 2003)
- March 14 – Jerry Greenfield, American co-founder of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream
- March 17 – Kurt Russell, American actor
- March 18 – Ben Cohen, American co-founder of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream
- March 24 – Tommy Hilfiger, American fashion designer
- March 26 – Carl Wieman, American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate
- April 5
- Joe Bowen, Canadian hockey broadcaster
- Dean Kamen, American inventor and entrepreneur
- Frank Moulaert, Flemish scholar
- Guy Vanderhaeghe, Canadian author
- April 6 – Bert Blyleven, Dutch Major League Baseball player
- April 7 – Janis Ian, American singer and songwriter
- April 8 – Geir Haarde, Prime Minister of Iceland (2006–2009)
- April 10 – David Helvarg, American journalist and activist
- April 11 – Doris McGowen Beck Angleton, American socialite and murder victim (d. 1997)
- April 12 – Tom Noonan, American actor
- April 13
- Peabo Bryson, American singer
- Peter Davison, British actor
- Max Weinberg, American drummer
- April 14 – Julian Lloyd Webber, English cellist
- April 16
- Ioan Mihai Cochinescu, Romanian writer
- Pierre Toutain-Dorbec, French photographer
- Björgvin Halldórsson, Icelandic singer
- Mordechai Ben David, American singer
- April 17
- Olivia Hussey, Argentine-born actress (Romeo and Juliet)
- Horst Hrubesch, German football player
- April 19 – Jóannes Eidesgaard, Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands
- April 20
- Luther Vandross, American R&B/soul musician (d. 2005)
- Louise Jameson, British actress
- April 21 – Tony Danza, American actor and comedian
- April 23 – Allison Krause, Kent State University shooting victim (d. 1970).
- April 27 – Ace Frehley, original guitarist of KISS
- April 29 – Dale Earnhardt, American race car driver ( d. 2001)
- May 4 – Jackie Jackson, American singer
- May 6 – Samuel Doe, former President of Liberia (d. 1990)
- May 9
- Christopher Dewdney, Canadian poet
- Joy Harjo, Native American poet
- May 13
- Sharon Sayles Belton, Mayor of Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Jumbo Tsuruta, Japanese professional wrestler (d. 2000)
- May 14 – Robert Zemeckis, American film director
- May 15
- Yoshifumi Hibako, Japanese general
- Jonathan Richman, American musician
- Frank Wilczek, American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate
- May 19
- Joey Ramone, American rock musician ( Ramones) (d. 2001)
- Dick Slater, American professional wrestler
- Al Franken, United States Senator from Minnesota
- May 23 – Anatoly Karpov, Russian chess player
- May 26
- Madeleine Taylor-Quinn, Irish politician
- Sally Ride, American astronaut (d. 2012)
- May 30 – Stephen Tobolowsky, American actor
- June 2 – Larry Robinson, Canadian hockey player
- June 5 – Suze Orman, American financial advisor, writer, and television personality
- June 8 – Bonnie Tyler, Welsh singer
- June 12
- June 13
- Stellan Skarsgård, Swedish actor
- Richard Thomas, American actor (The Waltons)
- June 14 – Paul Boateng, British politician
- June 15 – Álvaro Colom Caballeros, Current President of Guatemala
- June 16 – Roberto Duran, Panamanian boxer
- June 20
- Tress MacNeille, American voice actress
- Paul Muldoon, Irish poet
- June 21 – Nils Lofgren, American musician
- June 24 – David Rodigan, British radio DJ/actor
- June 27
- Julia Duffy, American actress
- Mary McAleese, 8th President of Ireland
- June 28
- Lalla Ward, British actress
- Lloyd Maines, American musician and record producer
- June 29 – Keno Don Rosa, American comic book author
- June 30 – Stanley Clarke, American bassist
- July 1
- Terrence Mann, American actor and dancer
- Anne Feeney, American folk singer
- July 2
- July 3 – Richard Hadlee, New Zealand cricketer
- July 5 – Rich "Goose" Gossage, American baseball player
- July 6 – Geoffrey Rush, Australian actor
- July 8 – Anjelica Huston, American actress
- July 9 – Chris Cooper, American actor
- July 10 – Cheryl Wheeler, American singer and songwriter
- July 12 – Cheryl Ladd, American actress and singer (Charlie's Angels)
- July 14 – Erich Hallhuber, German actor (d. 2003)
- July 16 – Jean-Luc Mongrain, Canadian news anchor and journalist
- July 18 – Elio Di Rupo, Belgian politician
- July 21 – Robin Williams, American actor
- July 23
- Edie McClurg, American actress
- Michael McConnohie, American actor
- July 24
- Lynda Carter, American actress and singer (Wonder Woman)
- Chris Smith, British politician
- July 25 – Yuriy Kovalchuk, Russian oligarch
- July 28
- Garrett Hongo, American poet
- Doug Collins, American basketball player, coach and analyst
- July 31
- Vjekoslav Šutej, Croatian orchestral conductor
- Evonne Goolagong Cawley, Australian tennis player
- August 2 – Andrew Gold, American singer, musician, and songwriter (d. 2011)
- August 3 – Jay North, American actor
- August 3 – Marcel Dionne, Canadian hockey player
- August 6
- Daryl Somers, Australian television personality
- Catherine Hicks, American actress
- August 8
- Mamoru Oshii, Japanese film director
- Randy Shilts, American journalist and author (d. 1994)
- Louis van Gaal, Dutch football player and manager
- August 12 – Willie Horton, American criminal
- August 13 – Dan Fogelberg, American singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist (Longer) (d. 2007)
- August 14 – Carl Lumbly, American actor
- August 15 – Jim Allen, West Indian cricketer
- August 16 – Richard Hunt, American puppeteer (d. 1992)
- August 19 – John Deacon, English rock bassist (Queen)
- August 20 – Greg Bear, American author
- August 21 – Eric Goles, Chilean mathematician and computer scientist
- August 22 – Chandra Prakash Mainali, Nepalese politician
- August 23
- Akhmad Kadyrov, President of Chechnya
- Queen Noor of Jordan
- Mark Hudson, American musician
- August 24 – Orson Scott Card, American writer
- August 25 – Rob Halford, English rock singer ( Judas Priest)
- August 26 – Edward Witten, American mathematician and Fields medalist
- August 27 – Mack Brown, University of Texas football coach
- August 28 – Wayne Osmond, American pop singer
- September 2
- Mark Harmon, American actor (NCIS)
- Jim DeMint, American politician
- September 5 – Michael Keaton, American actor
- September 7
- Chrissie Hynde, American rock singer (The Pretenders)
- Bert Jones, American football player
- September 11 – Mr. Butch, American homeless person and Boston icon (d. 2007)
- September 12
- Joe Pantoliano, American actor
- Bertie Ahern, former Taoiseach of Ireland
- September 13 – Linda Wong, American porn star (d. 1987)
- September 17 – Cassandra Peterson, American actress (Elvira, Mistress of the Dark)
- September 18
- September 21 – Aslan Maskhadov, President of Chechnya
- September 22
- David Coverdale, English singer
- Dean Goss, American game show announcer and disc jockey
- September 25
- Pedro Almodóvar, Spanish filmmaker
- Mark Hamill, American actor (Star Wars)
- September 26 – Stuart Tosh, Scottish musician
- September 27 – Paul Craig, English professor of law
- September 29
- Michelle Bachelet, former President of Chile
- Andrés Caicedo, Colombian writer (d. 1977)
- Mike Enriquez, Filipino radio and television newscaster
- Maureen Caird, Australian hurdler
- September 30 – Barry Marshall, Australian physician, recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine
- October 2 – Sting, British rock musician ( The Police)
- October 3
- Bernard Cooper, American writer
- Dave Winfield, baseball player
- Keb Mo', American musician
- October 4 – Bakhytzhan Kanapyanov, Kazakh poet
- October 5 – Bob Geldof, Irish musician ( The Boomtown Rats)
- October 6 – Manfred Winkelhock, German race car driver
- October 7 – John Mellencamp, American musician and songwriter
- October 10 – Epeli Ganilau, Fijian soldier and statesman
- October 11
- Jean-Jacques Goldman, French singer and songwriter
- Jon Miller, American sports announcer
- October 15 – Rafael Vaganian, Armenian chess grandmaster
- October 18
- Mike Antonovich, American ice hockey player and executive
- Terry McMillan, American author
- October 22 – William David Sanders, American victim of the Columbine High School massacre
- October 23 – Charly Garcia, Argentine musician and songwriter
- October 24 – Meredith Hunter, American murder victim
- October 25 – Richard Lloyd, American rock guitarist ( Television)
- October 26
- Bootsy Collins, American musician, singer, and songwriter (P-Funk)
- Willie P. Bennett, Canadian songwriter and singer (d. 2008)
- October 27 – Éric Morena, French singer
- October 30 – Harry Hamlin, American actor (L.A. Law)
- November 2 – Thomas Mallon, American author and critic
- November 3 – Ed Murawinski, American cartoonist (New York Daily News)
- November 4 – Traian Basescu, President of Romania
- November 9 – Lou Ferrigno, American actor and bodybuilder (The Incredible Hulk)
- November 11 – Marc Summers, American television host
- November 14 – Jacob ter Veldhuis, Dutch composer
- November 15 – Alamgir Hashmi, English poet
- November 16
- Paula Vogel, American playwright
- Miguel Sandoval, American actor
- November 18 – Justin Raimondo, American author
- November 19 – Lord Falconer of Thoroton, British politician
- November 24 – Chet Edwards, American politician
- November 26 – Cicciolina, Italian actress and politician
- November 27 – Teri DeSario, American singer-songwriter
- November 29
- Kathryn Bigelow, American film director
- Roger Troutman, American funk musician (Roger and Zapp) (d. 1999)
- November 30 – Christian Bernard, French-born mystic
- December 1
- Sherry Aldridge, American singer (The Aldridge Sisters)
- Obba Babatundé, American actor
- Jaco Pastorius, American bassist
- Treat Williams, American actor
- December 2 – Adrian Devine, American baseball pitcher
- December 3
- Natalis Chan, Hong Kong actor and producer
- Riki Chōshū, Korean professional wrestler
- December 4
- Chang Fei, Taiwanese TV personality
- Patricia Wettig, American actress
- December 6 – Tomson Highway, Canadian writer
- December 8
- Bill Bryson, American-born British author
- Jan Eggum, Norwegian singer and songwriter
- December 10 – Doug Allder, English footballer
- December 11 – Peter T. Daniels, American scholar
- December 12 – Wau Holland, German hacker (d. 2001)
- December 14 – Jan Timman, Dutch chess player
- December 17 – Ken Hitchcock, Canadian hockey coach
- December 20 – Peter May, Scottish novelist and television dramatist
- December 29 – Georges Thurston, Canadian singer (d. 2007)
- December 31 – Tom Hamilton, American musician
- John Kindness, Irish artist
- Adriana Monti, Italian film director
- January 5 – Ken Le Breton, Australian speedway rider (b. 1925)
- January 7 – René Guénon, French-born author (b. 1886)
- January 10 – Sinclair Lewis, American writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1885)
- January 12 – Albert Guay, Canadian murderer (executed) (b. 1917)
- January 18
- January 21 – Yuriko Miyamoto, Japanese novelist (b. 1899)
- January 28 – Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim, President of Finland (b. 1867)
- January 29 – Frank Tarrant, Australian cricketer (b. 1880)
- January 30 – Ferdinand Porsche, German auto engineer (b. 1875)
- February 9 – Eddy Duchin, American pianist and bandleader (b. 1909)
- February 13 – Lloyd C. Douglas, American author (b. 1877)
- February 18 – Lyman Gilmore, American aviation pioneer (b. 1874)
- February 19 – André Gide, French writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1869)
- February 12 – Choudhary Rahmat Ali, one of the founding fathers of Pakistan (b. 1895)
- February 28 – Henry W. Armstrong, American boxer and songwriter (b. 1879)
- March 6 – Ivor Novello, Welsh actor, musician, and composer (b. 1893)
- March 10 – Kijūrō Shidehara ("Shidehara Kijūrō"), Prime Minister of Japan (b. 1872)
- March 11 – János Zsupánek, Slovene ( Prekmurian) poet and writer (b. 1861)
- March 14 – Val Lewton, American producer and screenwriter (b. 1904)
- March 21 – Willem Mengelberg, Dutch conductor (b. 1871)
- March 25
- March 31 – Ralph Forbes, American actor (b. 1896)
- April 3 – Henrik Visnapuu, Estonian poet and dramatist (b. 1890)
- April 4
- April 6 – Robert Broom, Scottish paleontologist (b. 1866)
- April 14 – Ernest Bevin, British labour leader, politician, and statesman (b. 1881)
- April 19 – Frank Hopkins, American professional horseman,soldier. Recognized for supporting the preservation of the mustang (horse) (b. 1865)
- April 18 – Oscar Carmona, former President of Portugal (b. 1869)
- April 21 – Lambertus Johannes Toxopeus, Dutch lepidopterist. (b. 1894)
- April 22 – Horace Donisthorpe, English myrmecologist (b. 1870)
- April 23 – Charles G. Dawes, Vice President of the United States, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1865)
- April 29 – Ludwig Wittgenstein, Austrian philosopher (b. 1889)
- May 3 – Homero Manzi, Argentine Tango lyricist and author (b. 1907)
- May 7 – Warner Baxter, American actor (b. 1889)
- May 17 – Empress Teimei of Japan, Empress consort of Emperor Taisho (b. 1884)
- May 27 – Sir Thomas Albert Blamey, Australian soldier (b. 1884)
- May 29 – Fanny Brice, American entertainer (b. 1891)
- May 30 – Hermann Broch, Austrian author (b. 1886)
- June 4 – Serge Koussevitzky, Russian conductor (b. 1874)
- June 8
- Paul Blobel, German S.S. officer (b. 1894), executed by hanging
- Werner Braune, German S.S officer (b. 1909, executed by hanging
- Erich Naumann, German S.S officer (b. 1905), executed by hanging
- Otto Ohlendorf, German S.S. officer (b. 1907), executed by hanging
- Oswald Pohl, German S.S. officer (b. 1892), executed by hanging
- June 9 – Mayo Methot, American actress (b. 1904)
- June 13 – Ben Chifley, Prime Minister of Australia (b. 1885)
- June 21 – Charles Dillon Perrine, American-born astronomer (b. 1867)
- June 27 – David Warfield, stage actor (b. 1866)
- July 9 – Harry Heilmann, American baseball player (b. 1894)
- July 13 – Arnold Schoenberg, Austrian composer (b. 1874)
- July 20
- July 23
- July 26 – Maximilian Ritter von Pohl, German army and air force officer (b. 1893)
- August 3 – Bee Ho Gray, Native American Wild West star, silent film actor and vaudeville performer (b. 1885)
- August 14 – William Randolph Hearst, American newspaper publisher (b. 1863)
- August 15 – Artur Schnabel, Austrian-born Jewish classical pianist (b. 1882)
- August 16 – Louis Jouvet, French actor and director (b. 1887)
- August 21 – Constant Lambert, British composer (b. 1905)
- August 26 – Bill Barilko, Canadian hockey player (b. 1927)
- August 28 – Robert Walker, American actor (b. 1918)
- September 7
- September 9 – Gibson Gowland, English actor (b. 1877)
- September 17 – Jimmy Yancey, American pianist and composer (b. 1898)
- September 29 – Thomas Cahill, American soccer coach (b. 1864)
- October 4 – Henrietta Lacks, African American originator of the HeLa cell line (b. 1920)
- October 6 – Otto Fritz Meyerhof, German-born physician and biochemist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1884)
- October 12 – Leon Errol, Australian-born actor and comedian (b. 1881)
- October 16 – Liaquat Ali Khan, first Prime Minister of Pakistan (b. 1896)
- October 24 – Clarence Stewart Williams, American admiral (b. 1863)
- October 28 – Mady Christians, Austrian actress (b. 1892)
- November 3 – Richard Wallace, American film director (b. 1894)
- November 5 – Reggie Walker, South African athlete (b. 1889)
- November 9 – Sigmund Romberg, Hungarian-born composer (b. 1887)
- November 13 – Nikolai Medtner, Russian pianist and composer (b. 1880)
- November 20 – Thomas Quinlan (impresario), English opera singer (b. 1881)
- December 5 – Shoeless Joe Jackson, American baseball player (Say It Ain't So, Joe) (b. 1889)
- December 6
- December 19 – Barton Yarborough, American actor (b. 1900)
- December 23 – Enrique Santos Discépolo, Argentine tango and milonga musician and composer (b. 1901)
- December 31 – Maxim Litvinov, Russian revolutionary and Soviet diplomat (b. 1876)